Pony stabbed at Bristol centre for disabled children
A pony which gives riding lessons to disabled children has been stabbed, staff have said.
The 12-year-old, called Lucky, was attacked with a knife in her field near the Avon Riding Centre in Bristol on Sunday night.
She is expected to make a good physical recovery but may never be able to give rides to children again, staff said.
No other horses have been affected and no similar incidents reported, according to Avon and Somerset Police.
Lucky's injuries were noticed by head groom Sammy Peacock early on Monday morning.
Blood on legs
She said: "All our horses have Sunday off to enjoy grazing in the field in small herds. Lucky was out with three other mares all similar in height and breeding.
"The injuries weren't obvious until one our grooms went to groom her in preparation for exercise and then noticed some blood down her back legs.
"She then lifted her tail and saw a very nasty and unusual wound. I knew this was not a kick from another horse or a hazard from the field because of the depth, location and clean cut."
The vet was called and told staff Lucky's injuries were from an attack with a knife, she added.
'Quiet and timid'
Lucky had to be sedated because of the pain, and was given stitches and antibiotics.
"We as grooms have seen a big change in Lucky's behaviour and she is now very quiet and timid," said Miss Peacock.
Alice Cuff, who also works at the centre, said it was unclear if they would be able to allow children to ride the skewbald mare in the future.
The Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled was established more than 20 years ago and offers opportunities for about 200 children and adults with varying levels of disability.